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National movement needed for Organ donation in India

Abha Gupta. Dated: 3/9/2018 11:41:32 AM

* 5 lakh Indians die waiting for an organ every year.
* 1 in 5000 patients on the waitlist actually gets an organ.
* Only 1% of Indians donate their organs after death.
* In the West around 70-80% of people pledge their organs.
Er Abha Gupta
Jammu, Mar 8
It's important to highlight how much India needs a national movement for organ donation to prevent thousands of people from dying due to lack of kidneys, hearts, livers, lungs and other tissues. Finding a donor match in India is not only rare and difficult to begin with, the challenge is compounded by bureaucratic hurdles and lack of awareness.
Even if a person has pledged their organs, at the time of death, the relatives have a final say. A big challenge then is for family members to accept their loved one is brain dead. Till date, even some doctors don’t understand the concept of brain death despite the law being in force since 1995.
India needs a system where organs are automatically donated, this system is called opt-out system of organ donation. The opt-out system is the presumed consent system where the deceased person’s consent to organ donation is presumed unless his/her name is on the nation’s refusal registry, whereas, the opt-in system demands a prior consent of the deceased person for organ donation.
France has made organ donation mandatory after the death of a person. The new ‘presumed consent’ law assumes that the deceased person agrees to have his/her organs donated, even if the individual’s immediate family is against it. Those who do not wish to donate their organs can put their name on a national 'refusal register' whereby their consent will not be presumed, and their organs will not be donated after their demise. Britain is joining the growing list of countries voting for the opt-out model. The Spanish organ donation model is regarded as the best in the world. After choosing an opt-out system, Spain dramatically emerged as the undisputed world leader in organ donations.
The opt-out system sees more organ donations and donors.
Germany, which uses an opt-in system, has an organ donation consent rate of 12 percent while the neighbouring Austria, which has an opt-out system, has a consent rate of 99.98 percent. In countries, which changed from an opt-in system to an opt-out system, the number of donors increased by 20 to 30 percent.
The present regulations, as well as the social milieu in India, must change. Organ donation from living donors is constricted by several stringent rules that restrict the eligibility to only close relatives of the patient. People are not ready to part with organs of their loved ones even after death. While in the West around 70-80 percent of people pledge their organs, in India only about 0.01 percent do so.
If Indians can learn to donate blood, what is stopping them from donating more organs?


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